Swisslog has been making these little robots for a long time, although I don’t see many of them in the wild these days.
They’re pretty cool in their own right. The robots themselves are reasonably small. The previous version was only 35-inches tall, and weighed in around 100 pounds. But they could carry up to 50 pounds worth of cargo and could navigate around the hospital completely on autopilot.
I’m not entirely sure, but I believe they use RFID technology to navigate.
[Update 08 01 2013]: According to Swisslog the RoboCurrier “utilizes an obstacle avoidance system and mapping software thatâ€™s set up during installation“.
@JFahrni RoboCourier utilizes an obstacle avoidance system and mapping software thatâ€™s set up during installation. http://t.co/9cIEOEswjN
— Swisslog (@SwisslogNA) August 1, 2013
One of the coolest features though is use of a prerecorded message to announce its arrival.